Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From the local newspaper's obituary page:

Everyone is invited to bring a "cold one" because if it were you, he would.

You can't make this stuff up.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cheerful Things

*kind emails from pals

*resident frog in the verbena

*wiring a lamp

*preaching on the Ascension again

*beautiful clear blue day without humidity or heat

*covering Moleskine journals with children's book pictures

*knowing I have a great power drill

St. Casserole, at the ready

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday Night Subconscious

nightmares all last night about being in a house with rising water breaking the house in pieces searching for my family and cat carriers while trying to remember what to carry with me to safety trying to keep everyone calm worrying that the people who won't leave will get swept away by the waters because they have loyalty to the area


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Books Read 2008

Carol Osborn, The Art of Resilience, Three Rivers Press. 1997 Rather like having a kind friend stand over your shoulder while you get your hope on.

Hiroko C.Kataoka, Japanese Cultural Encounters and How to Handle Them, Passport Books. 1991 Looking at the world with different eyes. Enjoyed the book.
Our friend, Rev. Books, has a new appointment HOURS FROM HERE. He'll MOVE in June to a great parish. BUT THIS MEANS HE WILL NO LONGER DRINK COFFEE WITH US ON TUESDAYS. He's been our calm and intelligent colleague for years in the Preacher Coffee Drinking Group Every Tuesday.

I will sure miss him.

He's the one who stayed with his people, despite all miseries, after Katrina. He took care of survivors, grieved the lost and cared about the community with such fierce devotion that no one will ever forget him who lived through those terrible days.

Mr. C. loses a golf partner. I lose a compassionate pal who understands if a gal is depressed or doing well and treated me with respect regardless of my mental state.

We will miss him.

When you think of a pastor who exegeted his community so that he could provide ministry, think of Rev. Books.

We met Tuesday to eat shrimp po-boys at Lil' Ray's. It's not our last meal together but each time we meet, I know we are counting down until he moves north.

I'm happy for his new appointment. He will be a blessing to them. I'm happy we kept him for this long since his system does this weird thing of uprooting and moving preachers every few years.

He says he'll begin blogging. My goal is to see him as a full member of the RGBPs.


St. Casserole

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In a few days, Mr. C. and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary. According to him, the gift for year 27 is sculpture. This stymies the gift-giving impulse mightily. Sculpture? Does the great St. Francis yard statue from several years ago count?

He's given me gifts over the years: making me laugh, surprising me with the variety of his interests, patience, pleasure in my achievements, his steady belief in my gifts as a person. The man has entertained me for 28 years. Not an easy task. If it didn't sound very sappy, I'd say, you, Mr. C. are the gift.

I salute you, Mr. C.! And, I am so glad you don't comment on my bloggage because I can't imagine what you'd say about putting up cats in costumes as the pic for our anniversary post.

St. Casserole

Monday, April 21, 2008

Things I Can Live Without

*people using toothpicks anywhere in my vision path

*whistling tunes off or on key

*drivers who ride bumpers of other drivers

*people who chain their dogs to a stake all day everyday

*beets, brussel sprouts and creamed green peas

*mosquitos, gnats and flying roaches

St. Casserole

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 Festival of Homies

Who is going to the Festival of Homies this year?

I'll be there.

St. Casserole

Picture is from the 2008 Festival of Homiletics website.
What to do with old people in your congregation who get on your nerves?

A colleague north of here says he is hurt by the older people in his congregation who get in his way, criticise him and overall, make his work difficult.

I suggested that he think through his feelings, identify his goals for his congregation, then move in closer to those who get on his nerves.

Not easy to do, of course. You get your feelings hurt by people who dismiss you and let you know they think you aren't capable of the work you feel called to do.

Now, read that sentence as how the older people feel about how they are treated.

We preach the importance of being involved with the Church. We want people to do the work of the church, attend often and give of themselves to the Body.

What happens when people feel that they are no longer welcome to participate?

For many older people, the Church is the last place they feel their gifts, developed over a lifetime, are valued. Everywhere else they see signs offering them sausage biscuits discounted for senior citizens.

How to make peace in this situation? Move in closer to your "offending" people. Find a place to meet them where they are comfortable to talk about their lives and interests.

Nothing is sadder to me than to discover that that old guy in the over sized blazer who toddled into the sanctuary for years, was, according to his obituary, the author of three books on normative digestive patterns of the American Wolf. Now I find this out? I missed out on discussing this with him! How did he do his research? Where did he live? What was it like doing this work?

Put your feelings aside, please. Allow the older people the dignity of their last years. Do not coddle them. Do not talk down to them. Do not put them in the box marked "UNINTERESTING".

Exceptions to this are those people, of whatever age, who delight in upsetting anything going on at the church. With those people, quietly find out what is going on with them by getting to know them. Keep them close to you. If you discern, without discussing your dislike for them with everyone else, that they are damaging, go see them with your closest elder/church board member. Talk with them respectfully and if things aren't resolved with this conversation, go see them again (with a church officer) and let them know you will not allow them to do damage. You better pray yourself into a stupor before this step because if you don't, you can do great harm to them.

Let's not be remembered as the jerky pastor who told an older parishioner, "You are an old woman! Get out of my way!" Believe me, she recalled this incident to the last days she had on earth. I think of her every time I see the arrogant, now old man jerky preacher.


St. Casserole

Sunday, April 13, 2008

After Church today, I walked through T.J.Maxx looking for new porch furniture cushions. I replace cushions every year it seems because both Andy and Sister like to sit on the love seats. When you come over, I'll try to brush off the cat and dog hair, OK?

A pretty red-haired woman turned around in the aisle to say, "Do you know me?" I looked at her face. She looked as familiar as all people do as Children of God but "know" her? Nope.

She said, "How about this: That would be me!"

This did not help. I started thinking about Cheesehead. She'd say something like this.

After explaining that I had cotton balls for brains on Sunday afternoons, I admitted I couldn't say her name.

Turns out that I did her wedding 15 years ago.

When she and her husband showed up to look at the church, then meet with the preacher, they asked for the preacher. I replied, "That would be me." This reply stayed with them as a humorous moment.

I'm glad I saw them. Both are happy people, happy with each other and delighted with their work.

Note to Self: Push legislation that every person in my path wear a name tag at all times.


St. Casserole

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Several Things

*First, good pickings early this morning at estate sales. I have a new rug for my study. Good thing I found one because the stop-gap World Market rug gets on my nerves. Bad news! The Garage Antiques on 25th Street in Manhattan is rumored to be closing in November. Double Rats! I've shopped the Garage each and every November for the past 10 years. My favorite sterling flatware dealer and vintage jewelry sellers table there.

*The Johnbell conference at Jesus Meets Hogwarts ended Friday. Our travel home went well. While many on the BE cruise felt the ship for days after, I hear Johnbell's voice in my head today. He is a wonderful speaker.
Go see here for Johnbell's understanding of private worship in a public space. Thanks, Ice Flue!

*Dubby the kitten is biting people and cats with tiny nippy teeth. No one knows how to make him stop. What is the gentlest way to get this kitty to change his behavior?

I missed you all. Glad to be home with my people. Looking forward to worship tomorrow with my People.

St. Casserole

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm coming home tomorrow. Our tickets aren't on American so I hope we can get home without incident or delay.

Reports came in about the cats. Whistle and Fish took off their collars to race around nekkid. Whistle got outdoors. Unusual circumstances because Fish is modest and does not take off his collar. I don't worry about Whistle escaping because he is a faithful indoor kitty. Dubby, except for putting his big paws on Mr. C's sleeping face, has behaved well.

I am needed at home.

The conference exceeded expectations. I love this setting, too.

Time for me to come home.

Traveling mercies for us tomorrow, if the Lord says the same.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dear St. Casserole,

Last Saturday, I went to Mr. Cruthird's Cut n' Curl for a new perm.
His new girl, Fern, put the wrong solution on the rods and I look like trash. She kept saying that I needed a new look which I do not. You can tell from my picture that my usual perm is just fine.

I told Beulah Lynch where you are. She said, "DON'T TELL ME that niece of yours is out-of-town again!" She gets such a charge out of you! She worries that Mr. C. and that little one of yours won't know who you are when you get back home.

I know you are enjoying being on the Big Church grounds, singing with your preacher friends, eating food you didn't cook and acting like you belong up there.
Don't forget where you are from and what you are about. When your Mama passed, I promised to keep my hand on your shoulder so you'd have a wise woman to watch over you. My dear, it's been a pleasure and I'm proud of you. Now, go home.

You've got plenty to handle in your own part of the woods without skipping off to see your pals and learn new songs. You can learn plenty just by being at home and keeping your eyes open. I saw the pile of books in your study and on your bedside table when I dropped by to give Mr. C. the rest of that chocolate pound cake we had at the Ladies' meeting.

I've got to run. I've got a chicken salad to make for the Smith's. Her sister-in-law's brother is about dead over at the hospital. We are all worried sick.


Aunt Bostick

P.S. One of your friends wrote to ask if I'd get my own blog. Maybe in the Fall, I'm too busy now.
You can't get here from there. Northwest shuffled us around, gave us wrong info and made a mess of our travel day. Two drink vouchers and an upgrade improved nothing, not even my disposition.

I am here at Beautiful Place Rather Hogwartian.

John Bell is a well-spoken teacher with humor, insight and power.

Stacey and LMK's Mom are with me. Love seeing them.

Where else can I stay in a tiny room which smells like a grandmother's home, share a bathroom with 4 other women and go to Bethlehem Chapel everyday? The food is excellent here, too.

I called Rev. Mutha to ask why she wasn't here. Seems like she should be with us for this conference.

Spring shows all over the grounds here with blooming plants and shrubs. I saw a black squirrel early this morning as he ran to prayer.

Doing fine here. Wish you were here, too.

St. Casserole

P.S. None of the preaching small group members appear to be deaf. Rats!

Friday, April 04, 2008

I'm off to the College of Preachers Monday to hear John Bell. I'll preach two sermons to people who I pray will be gentle, kind, and deaf.

You are thinking that I'm doing AN AWFUL LOT of Continuing Ed. these days.

Correct. I'm making up for about ten years of staying home with children and going to nearby events like the Turnip Preaching and Mule Pull Festival or the Karaoke Bar and Grill Homiletical Hash Run. I can't forget to mention the Delta Blues and Bible Thumpers Conference, either.

Up at the Hogwarts Meets Jesus building, I'll be grateful to see Stacey and another favorite blogger who has a cat with extra toes like my Dubby.

Wish I'd see you, too.


St. Casserole
Mr. C. says, "you haven't blogged in a long time." I say, "I'm the only BE attendee who hasn't blogged about the BE. I just can't yet."

I will TALK with you about the BE. Glad to. But WRITE about it? Not YET.

I loved the BE. That's all I'm saying now.

St. Casserole